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– Twenty-First Century Crusades?
tension and backlash against Muslims in Europe
Britain set to crack down on Muslims
London is to effectively crack down on all Muslims in Britain except
those who abandon their Islamic identity and “reflect British mainstream
There is no opposition between the so-called mainstream values and Islam
as long as they mean advocacy for freedom of speech, equality, democracy
But British Prime Minister David Cameron has emerged to be set to cross
that line to label all members of Muslim groups that follow the rules of
their faith, the sharia law, as extremists who need to be tackled.
The Guardian quoted Home Office sources as saying that Cameron has won
an argument with his deputy Nick Clegg on a counter-terrorism strategy
to be unveiled next week, insisting that all extremism has its roots in
the ideology of non-violent extremism, identified by the paper as the
The paper said the Prevent strategy, which tars violence-oriented groups
with the same brush as non-violent ones, will be announced by Home
Secretary Theresa May on Tuesday.
The Prevent strategy redefines extremism as advocacy for views London
believes do not “reflect British mainstream values” including sticking
to sharia law.
The strategy echoes Cameron's controversial comments in an international
counter-terrorism conference in Munich last February.
Cameron used that speech to make clear that he supports an end to “state
multiculturalism” saying ""move along the spectrum, and you find people
who may reject violence, but who accept various parts of the extremist
world view, including real hostility towards western democracy and
While that seems to allow some room for Muslims to follow their 'faith'
Cameron went on to liken Muslim groups to far-right ones calling for a
blanket freeze on all government funding to Muslim organizations
following sharia law.
""Would you allow far-right groups a share of public funds if they
promise to help you lure young white men away from fascist terrorism? Of
course not,"" he said.
Cameron's one-way approach to the question of extremism has raised
concerns among experts including Haras Rafiq, director of the
counter-terrorism consultancy, Centri.
""They need to build a criteria to establish which organization they
fund has extremist views, which one doesn't,” Rafiq said. London's new
strategy is especially worrying, as London has recently offered contrary
definitions of 'core' British values, democracy and freedom of speech,
at least in actions if not in words.
Britain has been supporting the 'pro-democracy' cause in Libya laying
its weight behind the revolutionaries there and has even went as far as
involvement in attacks directly targeted at the Libyan dictator Muammar
However, pro-democracy cannot be attributed in British terms to the
Bahraini demonstrators who are calling for an elected parliament in
Bahrain and are being killed by the al-Khalifa regime.
Indeed, following months of bloody crackdown by the Bahraini regime
Foreign Secretary William Hague only went as far as urging both sides to
engage in “dialogue”.
Meanwhile, during a meeting with Bahraini crown prince Sheikh Salman bin
Hamad al-Khalifa in London last month, Prime Minister David Cameron
implied that Bahraini demonstrators disrupted reforms underway in their
country and should now pay the price or let the regime continue its
Cameron said that his government would back efforts to return Bahrain to
a process of reform rather initiate the Persian Gulf state into such a
process, effectively dismissing demonstrations as irrelevant
That lays bare London's hypocritical policy that explains why one has to
take Cameron's talk of democracy and freedom of speech to be the British
values Muslims do not respect with a pinch of salt.